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101  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google - News + Hate + Lurve on: July 16, 2014, 12:34:12 AM
The above post reflects that it was in the early stages when the MAFIAFire add-ons were being made.
Later on there were some pretty harsh words for Google such as this from torrentfreak:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Google Censorship Initiative Thwarted by ‘Gee! No Evil!’ Add-On
    By Ernesto on June 13, 2011

Earlier this year Google launched a piracy blacklist and began filtering keywords from its Instant and Autocomplete services. A necessary measure to counter online copyright infringement according to the search giant, but not everyone agrees. To partially undo Google's censorship efforts, the “MAFIAA Fire” team has now released the "Gee! No evil!" Firefox add-on.

geenoevilWhen Homeland Security’s ICE unit started seizing domain names last year, a group called “MAFIAA Fire” decided to code a browser add-on to redirect the affected websites to their new domains.

A perfect illustration of John Gilmore’s famous quote: “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

Releasing the browser add-on was a statement more than a technical breakthrough, but it had a bigger impact than the MAFIAA Fire team could have ever hoped for. ICE asked Mozilla to pull the add-on from their site but Mozilla denied the request, arguing that this type of censorship may threaten the open Internet.

This victory for the MAFIAA Fire team encouraged them to come up with more anti-censorship tools. Today the team lived up to that aim by releasing a new Firefox add-on named “Gee! No evil!” which targets Google’s recent censorship initiative.

Starting a few months ago Google began filtering “piracy-related” terms from its ‘Autocomplete‘ and ‘Instant‘ services. The unpublished blacklist includes “torrent”, “BitTorrent”, “uTorrent” and “RapidShare” and was updated with the term “Mediafire” last week.

According to Google, the blacklist is an effective tool to curb online piracy, even if the terms themselves are not exclusively linked to copyright infringement.

“While there is no silver bullet for infringement online, this measure is one of several that we have implemented to curb copyright infringement online,” Google spokesman Mistique Cano told TorrentFreak.

“This is something we looked at and thought we could make some narrow and relatively easy changes to our Autocomplete algorithm that could make a positive difference,” Cano added.

But not everyone agrees that censorship is the preferred solution here. The MAFIAA Fire team, for example, believe that Google has simply caved into pressure from the entertainment industry.

“Although typing a few extra letters is not a big deal for most, the fact that a non-innovative industry like the music industry has so much clout to pressure one of the icons in one the most innovative industry in the world was too much for us to ignore,” a MAFIAA Fire representative told TorrentFreak.

“We had to do something about it, just out of principle,” he added, and so today they released the “Gee! No evil!” add-on for Firefox. As with the redirector add-on, a Chrome version may be released later when enough donations come in.

The plugin reverses Google’s filter and adds the banned keywords to Autocomplete as soon as the user types in the first letter. It also kicks in if the second keyword is on the blacklist, so if a user types “Linux t” it will suggest “Linux torrent.”


“Gee! No evil! at work”

gee uncensored results

In addition to restoring censored keywords, MAFIAA Fire are also considering promoting other P2P services and cyberlockers with the add-on in the future, the opposite of what Google is attempting to accomplish. Site owners who want to support the initiative are welcome to apply.

With “Gee! No evil!” the MAFIAA Fire team have once again made a censorship effort defunct. But Google is not their main target, the pro-copyright lobby (MAFIAA) is what they are after. And their message is clear.

“Our message to the MAFIAA is this; the law of unintended consequences is very much alive. You took down Napster and what’s taken its place is far bigger. You are trying to censor little bits and pieces, but you inspired us to release more tools that will make you cringe for a very long time.”

“Censoring common words like “torrent” to help an outdated business model is not the right approach… and where does it stop? Who decides what goes on this slippery slope?” the MAFIAA Fire representative told TorrentFreak.

The above comment rightfully accentuates how subjective and risky censorship often is. While the U.S. Government is supporting tools to provide anonymous Internet to citizens of repressive governments, they also support drastic censorship measures at home. Although some may argue that it’s not fair to compare apples and oranges, censorship is censorship no matter how you frame it.
________________________________________

And this from http://www.mafiaafire.com/quick_note2.txt :
Quote
I think the US-DHS is quite impressive, mainly because I get impressed with a lot of capital alphabets in a row,
even more so when they have few or nearly no vowels.

I guess that's how the DHS and MPAA/RIAA (MAFIAA) got the vice president to say copyright infringement is "outright theft"
or get the Canadian Mounties do them "favors" which resulted in a young man taking his own life.

Now,  because my idea, which took less than a week to create - and the chrome version 2 days, makes them walk around with egg
on their face after the millions spent (it cost me less than $100) they went running to Mozilla for another favor.

No court order no nothing, which just goes to show how little they have legally - because if they did have something to pin
on MAFIAAFire they already have a sweet lady judge (##Link to article about former RIAA spokesperson now in judges seat##) who is a
former RIAA employee to sign off on it.

They did not even try to contact us.

Hat's off to Mozilla for sticking up to them, at first we were afraid if Mozilla would even host it due to its controversial nature
but they truly backed up their open source supporting words with actions.

Our response:
MAFIAAFire redirector for Chrome is ready (and improved!!)
Our domain is mirrored: MAFIAAFire.ezee.se
The source for BOTH the plugins are now open!
We are going to add more domains to the list

A note to the DHS - as a government entity you are supposed to act within the law, even though the domain seizures were deplorable
you made the (embarrassing ##Link to  article on the screenshots of torrent-finder### ) effort to get some (totally unrelated) screenshots
and go through the courts to give it some semblance of a lawful act.

Have you now dropped the whole facade and are just going to act like the hired goons you are by "requesting" people censor the internet for your bosses?
________________________________________
102  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google - News + Hate + Lurve on: July 15, 2014, 10:57:56 PM
From: http://www.mafiaafire.com/quick_note.txt
I think this was in the early stages when the MAFIAFire add-ons were being made.
Quote
Ok, here's a very rough alpha.
I'm a total virgin to extensions programming in Chrome so if I have taken the long or unorthodox route to get these results... feel free to send me YOUR code to make the corrections!

It may not be pretty but I am a results oriented person and well, this works like i want it to.

Send any bugs, complaints, praises and everything in between via our contact form: mafiaafire.com/contact.php

A pat on the back to Google and it's Chrome team; this was far easier than expected and got me running pretty damn fast - getting me from zero to the speed I wanted and the results I expected in hours. Porting this from FF was a breeze!
Thank you, you guys rock! (As do the Mozilla team).

103  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Google - News + Hate + Lurve on: July 15, 2014, 09:25:39 PM
After all that ridiculous compulsory Google+ stuff, bullying and control freak behaviour from Google and to hell with your privacy concerns, would you believe it, but: (my emphasis)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Google+ kills off “real names” policy | Ars Technica
Users can now make up whatever identity they please on the social network.
by Casey Johnston - Jul 15, 2014 10:07 pm UTC

Google has decided to reverse its long-standing policy requiring users to use their real names to make profiles on the service as of Tuesday, according to a post shared on the official account. The move comes after Google+ head Vic Gundotra suddenly departed in April, marking the beginning of a shift for the service.

"When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile," the post begins. As time went on, that rule softened to allow "established" pseudonyms and let YouTube users to bring their usernames over from the service.

Google+ has been criticized not only for preventing users from protecting their real identities, but causing confusion among them. In January, one transgender woman tried to send a text message to a colleague but sent a Hangout from her Google+ profile instead, outing her.

"We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users," the post continues. "For this we apologize, and we hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be."
(For more information and some larfs, go to the article at the link and follow some of its hyperlinks.)
That last bit (emphasised) rather looks like belated damage control and BS. Having tried to coerce users to conform to their ridiculous rules, and having found that that left them (unsurprisingly) with a relatively empty Google+ theatre (empty seats), they are trying the "We're so welcoming and inclusive, see?" approach.
Yeah right.
 ohmy
But it is arguably a good sign, and the word "excited" wasn't used once.
What's that I hear you say? You thought that an apology would have been in order? Hey, who are you kidding? An apology from Google? Don't make me larf.
(I wonder if they realise they've just re-enacted Aesop's fable "The Wind and the Sun"?)

I'm not taking off my coat just yet, thanks.
______________________________
By the way, where the post says:
Quote
The move comes after Google+ head Vic Gundotra suddenly departed in April, marking the beginning of a shift for the service.
- it is referring to Vic Gundotra - Google Vice President, Engineering Social.
He headed up the Google WAVE debacle project and the Google+ project (amongst other things).
Resigned 2014-04-24 after 8 years at Google.
104  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Firefox add-on - MAFIAAFire now adds "PirateBay Danciing" - quick review on: July 15, 2014, 07:53:36 PM
Now, I don't know how long the website  has been blocked by MBAM, but to me this looks suspiciously like stealthy censorship
I wouldn't be surprised. I've noticed Chrome giving me errors/warnings when I go to some sites. It doesn't happen very often, but... Those sites aren't exactly mainstream, and I can see why someone would want to censor them.
To me this spills over into a bigger issue, merging "copyright concerns" with "security warnings". I expect a legit "security warning" to be ... about security.
But when the IP gang pressures a browser to report a site as "unsafe" really bugs me, because it tries to play the gen public's honest attempt to be safe, for a few loose ends.
My best example is Primewire.ag showing up in Firefox/related's lists as "an attack site".
Now I'll listen to one of my betters here, but it generally seems like cheap tactics.

That's interesting. The other day I installed Google Canary (Chrome), on my new laptop - having not used Google Chrome for quite a while since migrating to the new laptop. (I had previously used the developer channel release of Google Chrome on my old laptop.)
I clicked on a URL for a website - I don't recall exactly, but I think it might have been one that was offering a Chrome add-on not available from the official Chrome store, or something - and a WARNING!! screen popped up asking "was I sure I wanted to go there?" or something, and suggesting I bitlify the URL (I could not and do not understand why I would want to do that, or what use it would be) - and there was a button I could press to do that. It also had a warning to the effect "Proceed at your own risk". Now, I was going there anyway, proceeding under my own risk as it were, when this stupid popup had intercepted me - so this was none of their bloody business and apparently simply a stupid scare tactic to discourage me away from that URL.
The trouble is, when it seems as though someone doesn't want me to see/know something, I become suspicious and curious to know what it is that they are trying to hide, as, from experience, people hiding things can often mean that there is something unethical going on.
I shall try and repeat this case and copy details to here or to some more appropriate thread in the forum.
Maybe we should start a discussion thread reporting cases of discovered "Internet Censorship" or something (or is there a suitable discussion thread  already).
105  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Firefox add-on - MAFIAAFire now adds "PirateBay Danciing" - quick review on: July 15, 2014, 07:33:56 PM
Just posted this EDIT to my above comment.
...
EDIT 2014-07-16 1230hrs:
Quote
One of our old domains was stolen (ilovemafiaafire.net) by our last scummy webhost and they just have an ads page on that domain, this release takes out any references to that domain      
From <http://mafiaafire.eu/MAFIAA-forum/showthread.php?tid=493>
106  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: July 15, 2014, 12:54:38 AM
Openness and transparency.
Here is something else of interest along similar lines as the above:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill
samzenpus posted yesterday | from the noting-the-changes dept.
89

mpicpp writes about a new Twitter bot that reports all of the anonymous Wikipedia edits being made from the US Senate and House of Representatives. Ed Summers, an open source Web developer, recently saw a friend tweet about Parliament WikiEdits, a UK Twitter "bot" that watched for anonymous Wikipedia edits coming from within the British Parliament's internal networks. Summers was immediately inspired to do the same thing for the US Congress. "The simplicity of combining Wikipedia and Twitter in this way immediately struck me as a potentially useful transparency tool," Summers wrote in his personal blog. "So using my experience on a previous side project [Wikistream, a Web application that watches Wikipedia editing activity], I quickly put together a short program that listens to all major language Wikipedias for anonymous edits from Congressional IP address ranges and tweets them." The stream for the bot, @congressedits, went live a day later, and it now provides real-time tweets when anonymous edits of Wikipedia pages are made. Summers also posted the code to GitHub so that others interested in creating similar Twitter bots can riff on his work.
107  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / 'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget on: July 14, 2014, 11:11:41 PM
Could be worth making a bookmark for this and even putting it in your feed-reader...
I detest the whole idea of censorship of legitimate publicly available information  - in hardcopy media or on the Internet - by those who have something they are ashamed of or simply wish to hide, or would rather the public did not see.
There is such a thing as publicly accepting responsibility and accountability for one's actions, or the actions of one's family or company - something that a great many criminals, perverts, political/financial/scientific fraudsters, ne'er-do-wells and media and other corporates tend to refuse to do. Allowing these miscreant people/organisations to draw a veil over their past sins is an attempt at rewriting history and risks being a step down a slippery slope to Totalitarianism by the dirty-handed (also in the legal sense) members of society.
It is thus perhaps unsurprising that this cack-handed idea was introduced by EU legislators.

Quote
'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget
Posted by Unknown Lamer on Monday July 14, 2014 @08:12PM
from the freedom-eagle dept.

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Hidden From Google, the brainchild of a web programmer in New Jersey, archives each website that Google is required to take down from European Union search listings thanks to the recent court decision that allows people to request that certain pages be scrubbed from Google's search results if they're outdated or irrelevant. That decision has resulted in takedown requests from convicted sex offenders and huge banking companies, among thousands of others."
108  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Firefox add-on - MAFIAAFire now adds "PirateBay Danciing" - quick review on: July 14, 2014, 08:48:22 AM
Interestingly, I noticed today that my trusty MBAM (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware) was blocking access to MAFIAAFire.com.

So I did a search, yet could find nothing "wrong" with that website, and these refernce points gave no indication of any issues with the website:

Now, I don't know how long the website  has been blocked by MBAM, but to me this looks suspiciously like stealthy censorship, so I made the IP address 37.46.125.152 an exception in MBAM, and that fixed it.
I also found that http://www.ilovemafiaafire.net/ was not responding, and in a search could find nothing useful about it.
EDIT 2014-07-16 1230hrs:
Quote
One of our old domains was stolen (ilovemafiaafire.net) by our last scummy webhost and they just have an ads page on that domain, this release takes out any references to that domain      
From <http://mafiaafire.eu/MAFIAA-forum/showthread.php?tid=493>
109  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 14, 2014, 08:06:53 AM
Honi soit qui mal y pense. Al Murray on nations

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CS1cUIxBVg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CS1cUIxBVg</a>
110  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Wuala is shifting to a paid-only service (no more 5GB free storage at start) on: July 14, 2014, 06:24:27 AM
Shifting to paid-only service
Posted:  11. June 2014
By:  Gianluca

We are announcing our transition to a paid-only model and new pricing plans, starting today. In recent times, we were able to expand our user base exponentially. Our decision to switch to a new model will allow us to keep our focus on improvements and expansions to meet the increasing needs of our customers. It will also give us the possibility to introduce new services and expand our product range.

As of today, new accounts will not start with free included storage. Remaining customers will keep their free storage. You can now get 5GB for just 1.39$ a month or 12$ a year (you can find the complete pricing here). So head over to our pricing page and continue to save your files securely in the Wuala cloud, without worrying who has access to your data.

Wuala is not just a cloud storage provider. Instead, we offer an unique product and a premium service which provides our customers with highest security and privacy available, including full control and flexibility over their files through our client. Supported by Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Kindle our customers are the center of attention in our product development. Our functionalities give our customers the ability to collaborate in teams, without having to be afraid about the security of their data. And that is exactly what we want to focus on.

We are excited about the next step in our growth and we are positive that not just our existing customers but also our new users will benefit greater value through these improvements.
111  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 13, 2014, 06:47:02 AM
Kiwis are very resourceful and will turn their hand to anything if required.

[attach]
112  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 12, 2014, 07:10:28 PM
@Arizona Hot: That mark-sensed exam response document took me back a bit. The clock track on the LHS where it says "Read in this direction" looks very much like the system I used to program for using a machine scanner code macro language. Pity the image doesn't show the whole document. From memory, I think the machine we used was a Westinghouse brand of mark-reading scanner. It ran the program logic in real time across every sheet as it was passing under the read heads, and though it was a very high-speed scanner (I forget how many documents per second it scanned) it could reroute the forward path of each document in its outgoing path, depending on the data that it had just scanned and the logic applied.
I guess the technology is still useful - that image is dated 2010. It was ideally suited to mass survey data collection.
113  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Journal of Vibration + Control (JVC) retracts 60 fraudulent peer-reviewed papers on: July 12, 2014, 02:01:00 AM
More of this makes a mockery of "science".
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’ - The Washington Post
By Fred Barbash July 10
Updated

Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.

The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

The publication is the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC). It publishes papers with names like “Hydraulic engine mounts: a survey” and “Reduction of wheel force variations with magnetorheological devices.”

The field of acoustics covered by the journal is highly technical:

    Analytical, computational and experimental studies of vibration phenomena and their control. The scope encompasses all linear and nonlinear vibration phenomena and covers topics such as: vibration and control of structures and machinery, signal analysis, aeroelasticity, neural networks, structural control and acoustics, noise and noise control, waves in solids and fluids and shock waves.

JVC is part of the SAGE group of academic publications.

Here’s how it describes its peer review process:

[The journal] operates under a conventional single-blind reviewing policy in which the reviewer’s name is always concealed from the submitting author.
All manuscripts are reviewed initially by one of the Editors and only those papers that meet the scientific and editorial standards of the journal, and fit within the aims and scope of the journal, will be sent for peer review.  Generally, reviews from two independent referees are required.

An announcement from SAGE published July 8 explained what happened, albeit somewhat opaquely.

In 2013, the editor of JVC, Ali H. Nayfeh, became aware of people using “fabricated identities” to manipulate an online system called SAGE Track by which scholars review the work of other scholars prior to publication.

Attention focused on a researcher named Peter Chen of the National Pingtung University of Education (NPUE) in Taiwan and “possibly other authors at this institution.”

After a 14-month investigation, JVC determined the ring involved “aliases” and fake e-mail addresses of reviewers — up to 130 of them — in an apparently successful effort to get friendly reviews of submissions and as many articles published as possible by Chen and his friends. “On at least one occasion, the author Peter Chen reviewed his own paper under one of the aliases he created,” according to the SAGE announcement.

The statement does not explain how something like this happens. Did the ring invent names and say they were scholars? Did they use real names and pretend to be other scholars? Doesn’t anyone check on these things by, say, picking up the phone and calling the reviewer?

In any case, SAGE and Nayfeh confronted Chen to give him an “opportunity to address the accusations of misconduct,” the statement said, but were not satisfied with his responses.

In May, “NPUE informed SAGE and JVC that Peter Chen had resigned from his post on 2 February 2014.”

Each of the 60 retracted articles had at least one author and/or one reviewer “who has been implicated in the peer review” ring, said a separate notice issued by JVC.

Efforts by The Washington Post to locate and contact Chen for comment were unsuccessful.

The whole story is described in a publication called “Retraction Watch” under the headline: “SAGE Publications busts ‘peer review and citation ring.’”

“This one,” it said, “deserves a ‘wow.’”

Update: Some additional information from the SAGE statement: “As the SAGE investigation drew to a close, in May 2014 Professor Nayfeh’s retirement was announced and he resigned his position as Editor-in-Chief of JVC….Three senior editors and an additional 27 associate editors with expertise and prestige in the field have been appointed to assist with the day-to-day running of the JVC peer review process. Following Professor Nayfeh’s retirement announcement, the external senior editorial team will be responsible for independent editorial control for JVC.”

Note to readers: Thanks for pointing out my grammatical error. No excuses.

There’s a follow to this story here.
114  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 11, 2014, 09:33:26 AM
My daughter just spotted this. Silly-funny.
North Korean missile test
115  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Experiences of using Win8-64, updating to Win8.1, then upgrading to Win8.1 PRO. on: July 11, 2014, 05:58:29 AM
Experiences of using Win8-64, updating to Win8.1, then upgrading to Win8.1 PRO.
Well, I have just upgraded from an HP laptop with Win7-64 to a Toshiba laptop with Win8.
I have to say I don't like the UI.
The system keeps urging me to upgrade to Win8.1 for free, but when I click the Download/Install button, the thing sits for ages trying to download an umpteen GB update file, then hangs at 50% with Error code: 0x80240031. This is consistently repeatable. A search of forums indicates that this is a common problem, with no defined fix/workaround.
The built-in Toshiba utilities updater has just downloaded a Toshiba utilities update which claims to prepare the Win8 OS for update to Win8.1.
We shall see.

(This is re Win 8-64.)
Following on from the above:
It was definitely a non-trivial exercise to run the Win 8.1 update. It just wouldn't run past the 50% mark.
After considerable investigative and tweaking effort spanning several days, I eventually established that the OEM installed Norton Antivirus (AnnoyWare) had disabled MS Security Essentials (now built-in to Windows Defender as standard in Win8), and had blocked the Realtime Scan of MBAM (Malwarebytes) that I installed.
Expunging Norton AV with prejudice (using RevoUninstaller and CCleaner registry clean) seemed to do the trick. I could then enable MS Security Essentials, and after reinstalling MBAM, MBAM could perform its realtime scan.
Then after a time-consuming exercise investigating and eliminating the causes of some critical error reports in the Event Viewer, I was able to eventually get:
  • sfc /scannow
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- to run to completion 100% with no errors and the component store repaired.
Then the Win 8.1 update was able to run automatically via Windows Update (like it should have). It took 2 or 3 hours to complete. (I was half asleep and didn't make a note of the time.)
One conclusion to this is that the OEM-installed Norton AV seems to have been somehow creating an error in the component store that effectively stopped the Win8.1 update from being able to complete. Expunginging Norton AV enabled the update.

With Win8.1 in place, I then started to migrate/install a lot of stuff from my old laptop onto the stable Win 8.1 platform. Everything went relatively smoothly, with one outcome being that I was singularly impressed with how solid the OS was and how it seemed to be superbly designed to make recovery from problems and errors very simple.
And it was (felt) faster than Win7.
I still disliked the UI, but at least it was a little better/somewhat improved in Win 8.1 from the Win8 incarnation.

To keep the OS and system generally clean and uncluttered, I periodically ran:
  • CCEnhancer
  • CCleaner
  • sfc /scannow
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
(as necessary).

Then, a couple of days ago, I decided to try and upgrade from Win 8.1 to Win 8.1 PRO (Professional). I wanted to use an unused licence for a Win8 PRO upgrade that I had previously purchased for about US$40 whilst it was just coming to the end of its "special offer" period, back in January 2014 when I was using Win7-64 Home Premium.
So I did some searching and came up with this very helpful post from October 29, 2013 which covered my case almost exactly: Easily Change Windows 8.1 Edition Without Reinstalling.

I followed the steps in that post, and to my great relief the upgrade was painless - it all took place without hitch in about 15 minutes elapsed time, including download and 2 auto-reboots. I then spent 30 minutes migrating/installing other software from my old Win7 disk, including the latest version of W7FC (Windows 7 Firewall Control) - for which I have a paid licence. The W7FC was a bit tedious, as it had to be taught all the rules for the programs as they were run.
I have come to the tentative conclusion that W7FC could well be redundant on the Win8 OS. (Some people may think it was redundant for Win7 too.)

So far I am very pleased with Win8.1 PRO.
If anything, it is/feels faster than the preceding Win8.1 version.
The UI is a bit different/slightly improved, but I still dislike certain aspects of it. I may set about fixing that to something that suits me better, now that the system has arrived at a stable end-point.
I shall now set about exploring the extra functionality that Win8.1-64 PRO offers, to see what use I can make of it.
116  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: July 10, 2014, 11:45:55 PM
An email and blog post requesting our/your action, from OpenMedia.org, further opportunity to add your voice:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Refer link: TPP - Save Free Expression | OpenMedia

The email says:
Our window is closing
Meghan Sali contact@openmedia.org via mail.salsalabs.net
   05:38 (10 hours ago)

- images from contact@openmedia.org

TPP negotiators received citizen comments in a face-to-face meeting with OpenMedia just hours ago but now chief negotiators are stepping in to ram the censorship plan into place. We only have 48 hours before negotiations end; now, more than ever, we need you to stand up for Free Expression. Amplify our voices here, and take action to end Internet Censorship.

Take action!

Dear XX,
Revealed: “Chief negotiators” are now stepping in to finalize a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plan that could censor expression online for generations.1 2

We only have 48 hours before their meetings in Ottawa, Canada conclude: Let’s raise a loud global call for TPP chief negotiators to back off and save free expression now --->

In just the last few days, tens of thousands of pro-Internet Citizens spoke up using our Face-to-Face tool3 to defend the right to access the Internet in their day to day lives without fear of censorship and surveillance.

As Harold Jaffe from the U.S. shared with us using our Internet Voice Tool:

“The proposed mechanisms of the TPP undermine some of our most valued principles--the equitable and transparent rule of law, the sovereignty of nations, and the authority of the people to determine how we are governed, among others. It is imperative that negotiations be brought into the light and the unjust, unconstitutional consequences of the plan be exposed.”

Make your voice louder, and make all our voices louder to Save Free Expression Online.

*If enough people speak out now we’ll put up a giant “Save Free Expression” banner in front of the TPP meeting building – a banner that decision makers and the media can’t ignore.

Negotiators have now heard your voices loud and clear, but they’re feeling the pressure from Big Media lobbyists and government officials to push ahead with this irresponsible plan.

Demand decision-makers and world leaders remove Internet Censorship from the TPP. Speak out today.

Thank you for recognizing that we need your help – we need your voice to protect the possibilities of the open Internet.

–Meghan, Josh, and Steve, on behalf of your OpenMedia Team

P.S., We’ve been fighting hard against the TPP’s extreme censorship, and we won’t stop until negotiators have abandoned their plans to censor the Internet. It’s the generous support we receive from the pro-Internet community - people like you - that’s made this fight possible. Help us defend your rights online by chipping in today.

Footnotes
[1] Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Source: EFF
[2] TPP talks in full gear as chief negotiators join working-level meeting. Source: Mainichi
[3] Face to Face with Internet Censorship. Source

Mind you, if one was a proponent of Transnational Progressivism, one might not want to stop TPP just yet.
117  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 10, 2014, 10:56:25 PM
[attach]
118  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Switzerland-based ProtonMail, yet another secure email service on: July 09, 2014, 10:29:40 PM
Maybe the author of the Hunger Games book series should write in something about secure email services - and the need for them - e.g., such as Proton Mail...
Quote
The Latest Hunger Games Teaser Trailer Should Excite Libertarians
Robby Soave|Jul. 9, 2014 2:41 pm

The Mockingjay lives!

That's the message of the second teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which depicts anti-government rebels hacking a propaganda transmission circulated by the creepy central government.

The forthcoming installment of The Hunger Games movies—which were adapted from the best-selling book series by Suzanne Collins—should excite libertarians. It preaches a fundamentally libertarian message of the inherent evils of centralized government, excessive taxation, slavery, and police brutality, and features freedom fighters motivated by self-ownership and local autonomy.

The series is hugely popular across all age demographics, but especially among kids and teenagers. It can't be a a bad thing that so many young people now have a Harry Potter-esque reverence for Katniss Everdeen, a protagonist whose message to the government is essentially "you don't own me."

Watch the latest trailer below. The previous trailer is available here.
119  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Download a Treasure Trove of 130 Free Ebooks from Microsoft on: July 09, 2014, 08:00:53 AM
Could be well worth checking out:
Quote
Download a Treasure Trove of 130 Free Ebooks from Microsoft
Patrick Allan Today 4:00am

Download a Treasure Trove of 130 Free Ebooks from Microsoft

It has happened before, and it is happening again. Microsoft's MSDN blog has released a whole new batch of free ebooks that cover everything from Windows 8, to Office 2013, to SQL Server, and more.
Grab Over 80 Free Ebooks from Microsoft and Learn Something Tech-y

Microsoft's MSDN blog has released a boatload of free ebooks on a range of technologies and…Read more

Eric Ligman, the Santa Claus of Microsoft ebooks, has unleashed the biggest collection yet, with 130 different titles. Each ebook is hundreds of pages long and filled with knowledge sure to help any IT pro or home use alike. Formats vary, but a majority of the titles are PDFs.

It's Christmas in July. Go open your presents:

Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more | Microsoft MSDN blog - Eric Ligman via Tech Support Alert
120  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Office 2013 drops cleartype, fonts a disaster. Any way to fix it? on: July 09, 2014, 03:12:00 AM
I just happened to be playing about with Fonts today, and revisited this discussion thread.
Thought I should report that the MS Gothic (mono-spaced) and MS PGothic (proportional) fonts - as suggested by @danno - look pretty 'orrible on the Toshiba L855D laptop in OneNote 2013 (under Win8.1-64).
121  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: July 08, 2014, 11:34:22 AM
Ahaha! Not being particularly interested in iphones, I had not realised that they were effectively unserviceable.
 Is that really true?     tellme
122  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: July 08, 2014, 09:35:21 AM
(see attachment in previous post)
How the NSA Could Bug Your Powered-Off iPhone, and How to Stop Them  Threat Level  WIRED
How many of you national security threats here need something like this?
_______________________________________
I always thought that physically disconnecting an electrical device from its power source was an effective and certain way of "switching it off". If that is true, then what's wrong with simply removing the battery from the iphone?
And if it is a handheld two-way radio communications device, then wrapping it in tinfoil might be as good as or a better way of isolating it than shutting it in the fridge - and less likely to cause harm to it from condensation.
123  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Declaration of Independance- some scholars say we've been reading it wrong. on: July 08, 2014, 09:18:21 AM
It's a fascinating idea that an old transcript could have an error that gets passed down through the years -- and a fascinating idea that a punctuation change could make a dramatic difference.
...
Refer: Illuminated script.
124  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Malwarebytes FREE and PRO/Premium - Mini-Review. on: July 08, 2014, 09:05:28 AM
@crabby3:
Yes, please refer to the updated opening post and my update notes here Re: Malwarebytes FREE and PRO/Premium - Mini-Review..
I guess just a one-fourth screen-shot link is okay?  Is this the Authentic IainB?   Grin smiley
________________________________________________

Your initial question was in:
@IainB
There is a new look for MBAM you may want to add?  Some functions are different as well.  Or gone... i.e. tabs, 3rd-party stuff, etc.
As of this posting you can scroll down and see some of the screens here:  https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/

What I was referring to was in particular response to that question, and it was was where the opening post of my mini-review now says So, for more information, please refer to that review - which also includes 10 or so screenshots of the MBAM GUI and windows. (see quote below).
I often post some/all of the comment-worthy text content sourced from other posts sans embedded hyperlinks/images, for purely informational purposes and so that people can independently use the hyperlink to the source to access the real McCoy for fuller information. However, I would generally avoid copying/duplicating all the content (including screenshots) of a perfectly good existing review - e.g., like the excellent one by PCmag - to avoid unnecessary duplication and the risk of detracting from their well-deserved potential traffic hits.
...
________________________________________________________
1. Using MBAM version series 2.x Premium (PAID)
============================================

...There's not a lot to report otherwise, except that the latest MBAM Premium version 2.x GUI and modus operandi are different/improved to the MBAM PRO version 1.x. These differences are discussed in a rigorous test review report of MBAM Premium, by the excellent Neil J. Rubenking - Lab Results Looking Up - Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0 Review & Rating | PCMag.com.
So, for more information, please refer to that review - which also includes 10 or so screenshots of the MBAM GUI and windows.
(My thanks to @Arizona Hot for pointing out the PCMAG review in his comment Re: Interesting "stuff".)

Summary rating from that PCMAG review:
Note that Install and scan in Safe Mode is a newly-added feature, and the Chameleon and rootkit scan features were previously functions that were separate to and not integrated with MBAM v1.x.
PROS
Installs and scans in Safe Mode.
Chameleon technology resists malware attack.
Excellent results in malware removal lab test.
Improved user interface and ease of use.
Integrates previously separate rootkit scan.
CONS
No real-time protection against attack.
BOTTOM LINE
When other antivirus products fail, tech support
agents turn to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0.
It remains a very effective cleanup tool, and
with version 2.0 it gets significant improvements
in appearance and ease of use.
...
125  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: July 08, 2014, 07:58:49 AM
This is just a demo video that shows what a Freefly Systems el cheapo video stabilisation rig can do. It's pretty darn cool! Cool
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxYvSlFDbQ
http://www.freeflysystems.com/products/moviM5.php
Freefly MōVI M5 >> From $4,995.00
Other rigs can cost $30k, so it's quite a bargain as you can see from the wicked smooth video.
And another with the same rig.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp7AKtCaBUc[/youtube]
Wow.

Very impressive.
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